George Washington Papers

To George Washington from John Baptista Ashe, 2 April 1791

From John Baptista Ashe

Halifax, N.C., 2 April 1791. Introduces Benjamin Easley, a cadet in Captain Montfort’s company, who “flatters himself with filling” an ensigncy in the U.S. Army, and recommends his “Merit, and Abilities, equal to doing honor to the profession.”1

ALS, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters.

1Joseph Montfort wrote GW, from Chesterfield Court House, N.C., on 11 April: “the Company under my Command has a long March before them that there is but one Officer beside Myself & that to our usual duty the secretary has enjoined that of supplying ourselves with provision & forrage on the March” and requested GW to appoint Benjamin Easley “to do the duty of Ensign until the further pleasure of Congress is known,” or at least to permit him to employ Easley in purchasing their supplies on the march (DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters). William Jackson replied to Montfort on 13 April that GW “commands me to inform you that he is not now here for the purpose of making appointments—and to observe to you that your orders from the Secretary of war must be obeyed with promptitude and punctuality” (DLC:GW). Easley received no commission from GW but was appointed a captain in the U.S. Army in 1800 (Executive Journal, description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States of America: From the commencement of the First, to the termination of the Nineteenth Congress. Vol. 1. Washington, D.C., 1828. description ends 1:343, 355).

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